UMSL Tritons weekly rewind: Women’s basketball team NCAA Tournament-bound
UMSL is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2013-14 season after receiving an at-large bid as the No. 6 seed in the Midwest Region, which will be held in Ashland, Ohio. The Tritons (23-5) will take one No. 3 seed Drury (31-4) on Friday in a rematch of last Saturday’s Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament semifinal that the Panthers won 64-54 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Freshman Jalysa Stokes scored 18 points, and senior Alex LaPorta added 16 and a team-high eight rebounds, but UMSL couldn’t overcome 25 turnovers. The Tritons opened the GLVC Tournament by beating McKendreee 76-50 at home last Monday and edged Illinois Springfield 53-51 in Friday’s quarterfinal at SIUE. The victory over Illinois Springfield gave UMSL a school-record 23 victories. Senior center Kiara Stewart led all scorers with 18 points and also pulled down 13 rebounds in the quarterfinal victory, and Stokes added 17 points off the bench.
The Tritons secured their second NCAA Tournament bid in the past three years by winning the GLVC Tournament for the first time in school history, knocking off Indianapolis 66-56 in Sunday’s championship game at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. UMSL reached the final after beating Drury (96-63) in the opening round, Southern Indiana (90-68) in the quarterfinal and William Jewell (59-53) in the semifinal. Senior guard Shane Wissink was named the tournament’s most valuable player after averaging 15.3 points, including a game-high 28 points against Southern Indiana and led the Tritons with 19 points in Sunday’s final. He also hit his school-record 186th career 3-pointer in the championship game. Junior forward Marty Jackson joined him on the all-tournament team while averaging 15.3 points. He had 21 and 12 rebounds in the semifinal victory over William Jewell. Senior guard Steve Webb also landed a spot on the all-tournament team. Webb averaged 10.7 points and totaled 10 steals over the tournament’s final three games. The Tritons will carry a 10-game winning streak with them into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region and will take on No. 4 seed Truman State in the opening round, which begins Friday on the campus of top-seeded Walsh in North Canton, Ohio.
Sophomore Linn Thornqvist, competing as an individual, carded rounds of 72 and 73 to claim medalist honors in the Natural State Golf Classic, held last Monday and Tuesday at Cypress Creek Golf Club in Cabot, Arkansas. Manon Labeur led the UMSL team scores with a 36-hole total of 152 to tie for sixth individually while helping the Tritons to a fourth-place finish. Jenna Teeter, also competing as an individual, placed eighth with a total of 153. UMSL will next play in the Emerald Coast Classic held March 13-15 in Destin, Florida.
The Tritons grabbed the first-round lead at the Las Vegas Desert Classic they’re hosting this week at The Legacy Golf Club in Henderson, Nevada. Freshman Ian McCrary carded a first-round 67 to pace the field, and senior Joel Sylven joined him in the top 10 individually through the first round of the 54-hole tournament with an opening-round 70. Senior Reilly Ahearn shot 71. The tournament continues Monday and will conclude on Tuesday.
UMSL went 5-2 through its first seven games in the state of Florida with two more on the horizon on Monday. The Tritons had a shutout streak of 29 1/3 innings at one point during the week, including shutout victories of Georgian Court (3-0), Holy Family (12-0), Davenport (4-0) and St. Cloud State (1-0). UMSL also secured a 2-0 victory over Bemidji State on Sunday and improved to 10-7 on the season. The Tritons’ Florida losses were to Bridgeport and Wilmington on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. Senior Mimi Bradley picked up wins against Holy Family and Bemidji State, striking out nine in both games. Junior Annie Scaramuzzi pitched two shutouts, against Georgian Court and St. Cloud State, and tallied 11 strikeouts. UMSL (10-7) will take on Grand Valley State and Clarion on Monday before opening conference play next weekend on the road with doubleheaders against Illinois Springfield on Friday and Lewis on Sunday.
The Tritons picked up their first victory of the season Friday when they pulled out a 4-3 victory over Upper Iowa before getting swept in a three-game series against visiting Minnesota Duluth. Clayton Stephens‘ sacrifice fly proved the difference in the win over Upper Iowa as UMSL rallied from a 3-0 deficit. Christian Thrasher picked up the victory in relief with a scoreless eighth inning. The Tritons lost the three-game series against Minnesota Duluth by scores of 13-12, 15-8 and 8-6. UMSL is off until facing Missouri S&T on March 18 in Rolla, Missouri.
The Tritons won their home opener 6-1 Friday against Missouri Baptist before losing 6-1 on the road against No. 8 Indianapolis on Sunday. Marcos Navas and Juan Vigil both pulled out three-set victories in the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches, respectively, against Missouri Baptist. UMSL next plays at Lindenwood on March 18.
No. 2 Indianapolis swept the Tritons 7-0 Sunday in a nonconference dual meet in Indianapolis. UMSL (1-4) will next face Lindenwood on March 18 in St. Charles, Missouri.
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